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US House Speaker and Catholic Paul Ryan raises the gavel during the opening session of the new Congress on Capitol Hill. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

A third of the US Congress is Catholic

The proportion represents a rise in Catholics and a fall in the number of Protestants in recent decades

Pope Francis greets young people during his weekly audience  in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

Francis says that Rachel, in the book of Jeremiah, represents every mother throughout history who cries over ‘irreparable loss’

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St Pius X (CNS)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 05/01/17

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

The daughters of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi hold a photo of their mother outside their residence in Ittanwalai, Pakistan, in 2010 (CNS photo/Adrees Latif, Reuters)

Police in Lahore say they arrested 76 people seeking to reach the family residence of murdered governor Salman Taseer

US District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Wichita Falls (Google)

The judge rejected the regulation because plantiffs would be forced to violate their religious beliefs

Pope Francis (AP)

At his general audience, the Pope prayed for prisoners killed in recent riots in Brazil

A pro life campaigner hold a model of a human foetus

The question of what becomes of tissue left over from abortions and miscarriages is the latest legal battle over abortion in Texas

Congolese Bishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu signs the accord between the opposition and the government of President Joseph Kabila  (CNS)

Under the accord, President Kabila will comply with constitutional provisions barring him from seeking a third term in office

Members of the LGBT community hold placards during a protest rally in Bangalore, India (CNS)

The Church ‘has a big role to play’ in the pastoral care of the transgender community, according to the priest in charge of the outreach programme

More than a million refugees have fled the civil war in South Sudan (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 04/01/17

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church